SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 24, June 18, 2009

Modern Domestic Muscle: Highest in Consumer Interest

  Most Viewed New Cars
 Modern musclecars took the top three spots for most views in the latest consumer interest report.
  Mark Donahue replica Camaro at 2008 SEMA Show
 General Motors unveiled its new Camaro at the 2008 SEMA Show including some with historic racing livery.
  Mustang convertible
 Though not released in time for the 2008 SEMA Show, the redesigned Ford Mustang will undoubtedly be a focal point for specialty-equipment manufacturers.
  Pypes Dodge Challenger at 2008 SEMA Show
 Pypes Exhaust brought a freshly-modified Dodge Challenger fitted with its latest products to the 2008 SEMA Show.

Despite the ceaseless barrage of take-overs, mergers and other bankruptcy-related automotive news, consumers do not seem to be swaying away from performance vehicles.

AutoTrader released a report of their recent website traffic and ranked the most popular vehicles, taking views as the sole determining factor for order. Online traffic is often a reasonable gauge for future demand and the latest findings defy the perceived negative feelings towards the struggling automakers.

Kelley Blue Book, meanwhile, announced that consumers have improved their opinions of the companies involved in the recent bankruptcies. Its latest buyer survey indicated that 54% of buyers were likely to buy from General Motors and 31% from Chrysler, up from 47% and 29% respectively a month earlier.

KBB attributed the change in support to both the increase of information about the once-confusing circumstances and the federal backing of the companies.

"While in April new-car shoppers didn't have much information about the bankruptcies of the two companies, by May it was much clearer that the U.S. government would continue to offer aid to the two ailing carmakers, keeping them in operation," said KBB executive editorial director and executive market analyst Jack R. Nerad. "This reassured enough buyers to bring a modest improvement in overall likelihood to purchase from Chrysler and GM."

Topping the list was Chevrolet's all-new Camaro, followed by the redesigned Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger—three new musclecars from the domestic brands.

"The 1-2-3 finish by Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge shows that the U.S. is still in love with the American musclecar and that the U.S. manufacturers are rolling out head-turning products that generate the same kind of buzz you hear for Hondas, Toyotas, BMWs and other foreign makes," said AutoTrader President and CEO Chip Perry.

SEMA Research & Information Center

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